NAMM 2012: Akai Max 49 USB/MIDI/CV Keyboard Controller

It's about 21 hours until NAMM 2012 begins and the new toys are already being rolled out.

Akai's latest instalment to their keyboard controllers line is the ultra cool Max 49. What makes the Max 49 unlike most keyboard controllers is the fact that it offers USB, MIDI,CV and Gate outputs. The ability to output to a USB or MIDI doesn't really set this keyboard apart, but the fact that it outputs CV and Gate puts this little red synth into a whole different category of controllers. For those of you who may be new to the world of electronic music production, CV stands for control voltage and is how old (and new) analog synthesizers send musical data. Having the ability to output CV and Gate signals means that with this controller you can dive into the world of affordable analog synthesis and not have to worry about getting a controller specifically design for only one purpose.

Along with the awesome ability to control mighty analog synthesizers, the Max 49 also comes with 12 backlit MPC style drum pads, eight backlit LED touch faders for gradual or instant parameter value changes,  four pad banks, four fader banks, a built-in step sequencer, AkaiConnect for quick mapping to VST plugins, an arpeggiator, and an LCD screen for flipping through presets.

All in all it's a really cool take on a very common controller, and hopefully it will live up to all it advertises. And plus, it's an awesome way to start off NAMM and it definitely builds the anticipation to see what else will come out of this years show.